Friday, December 24, 2010

Africa Day 10- "Medicine & Supplies" (Ghana)

I was a little worried that today’s item in the World Vision Christmas Gift Catalog could be too boring to feature….Medicine and Supplies. I know. Yawn. I didn’t know if there was a way to make antibiotics, antifungals or de-worming medications sound cool or exciting. I was wrong! I could make a movie out of the compelling story we heard today!

We met a family in Ghana who recounted their dramatic experience and how World Vision saved their son’s life in the nick of time!

Earlier this year, their infant got sick. He was overheating and struggling to breathe. His parents didn’t know what to do and were frantic. They considered hiking 10 miles away to their nearest hospital, but they didn’t think their son would make it that far.

Their only other option was to find medicine….quickly.

In Africa, you can buy just about anything from street peddlers….phone cards, bananas, shoes…even medicine. The boy’s parents decided to spend what little money they had and buy drugs for their son from a peddler who told them he had a concoction that would help.

They were told to pour a powdery substance into a glass of water and have their son drink it. What other options did they have? They were so scared their son was about to die.

As they sat on the grass debating whether to follow the peddler’s advice, a nurse from a nearby World Vision clinic passed by and asked what they were doing. She examined the boy and quickly realized that the drugs were 20x stronger than the boy should be given. In fact, if he swallowed the concoction, the infant would most likely overdose and die. Instead, the nurse convinced his parents to follow her to a nearby clinic where World Vision had stocked the small building full of medicine and supplies provided through the Christmas Gift Catalog.

The little boy was treated with age-appropriate medications and sent home. Two days later, the nurse revisited his parents and found the infant happy and healthy again!

I got to talk to the boy’s parents today and they told me they believe it was a miracle from God that the nurse showed up when she did! If she hadn’t, they don’t think their son would have survived.

Today I walked away from this village in Ghana learning that Medicines and Supplies are not just another life changing item in our gift catalog this year…but a life saving gift! I’m so glad that this family will all be together this Christmas…thanks to the medicines provided through World Vision.

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